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Unexpected Gift: Pornhub Records Sharp Rise in Users on the Day Facebook Went Dark

© AFP 2021 / ETHAN MILLERPornhub stickers are displayed at the Modelhub booth at the 2019 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 23, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pornhub stickers are displayed at the Modelhub booth at the 2019 AVN Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 23, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.10.2021
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On Monday, Facebook and its subsidiaries experienced the largest outage in their history, sites and apps were unavailable to users around the world for about 6 hours, forcing netizens to wander through all sorts of different pages instead of their chats and feed.
While the vast majority of the most popular apps and services went offline, Telegram messenger instead saw big gains, greeting about 70 million new users.
But it turns out they weren't the only ones. One of the world's most popular porn sites also reaped substantial benefits, seeing a sharp rise in the number of active users on the site during the blackout, the website estimated on Thursday in its Insights blog.
Many seemed to have found compensation for the absence of Instagram. According to the porn site, Pornhub's traffic climbed by as much as +10.5% starting about 12 pm ET, which equates to about half a million additional users for each hour that Facebook's services were down.
However, this situation is not new for Pornhub, as similar traffic gains were observed by the website's statistics during a March 2019 Facebook & Instagram outage, which, according to the contemporary blog post, gave the site an increase in users of up to 19%.
"Immediately after the outage began, Pornhub’s traffic surged by up to 11% at 1 pm. The increase in early evening traffic was even more dramatic, reaching as much as 19% above average at 7 pm, already one of Pornhub highest viewing periods," the post read.
Interestingly enough, the surge in traffic during that blackout created a shift in the types of videos people were looking for. And quite expected, searches for "Instagram" increased by 323%, while searches for "Facebook" increased by 221%.
The next day after the outage, Facebook issued an apology and revealed the cause of the problem. The company said the outage was due to an issue with the technology that manages its worldwide backbone network capacity.
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